EXCLUSIVE: Public asked to consider six possible sites for cinema complex for Ely

PUBLISHED: 18:55 03 June 2012

The British Instructional Film Studios was in Broadwater Road, WGC

The British Instructional Film Studios was in Broadwater Road, WGC


ELY could soon boast its own cinema complex under plans being touted by council officials.

The potential sites

Option 1: Land at junction of Downham Road/A10 – this site is proposed for a new Leisure Village for Ely, however, additional land is available for other complementary uses.

Option 2 - Ely City Centre – including the present council offices site/police and ambulance stations on Nutholt Lane. This area was proposed for comprehensive redevelopment within the Ely Masterplan.

Option 3 - Paradise area – the current site of the Paradise Leisure Centre which is expected to become available once the new leisure centre is developed off Downham Road.

Option 4 - Ely Station Gateway area – this area was proposed for comprehensive redevelopment within the Ely Masterplan.

Option 5 - Land west of Cambridgeshire Business Park, Angel Drove – Tesco have indicated a desire to relocate to this area from their current site adjacent to the station.

Option 6 - North Ely – a 3,000 dwelling urban extension to Ely is proposed which will include areas of mixed-use development.

East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) has identified a series of sites where it believes a new cinema could be built and councillors will vote next week to let residents have their say.

Plans to bring a cinema to Ely were first explored back in January when ECDC chief executive John Hill and Ely councillor Richard Hobbs met with officials of an unnamed cinema operator to see if a new complex could be viable.

Now, as part of a three-week consultation, residents will be given the choice of six sites in and around the Ely area where council officials believe the new venue could go.

The options include the site of council offices and police station on Nutholt Lane, the land currently occupied by the Paradise Leisure Centre and the land earmarked for the district’s new £12 million leisure centre off Downham Road.

In a report to councillors on the Development and Transport Committee, planning officer Sarah Ratcliffe, said: “Public consultation carried out for the Ely Masterplan revealed strong public support for a new cinema in Ely. Officers have since been working to identify a range of suitable locations for a cinema.

“At the same time a cinema use has been suggested to complement and help bring forward the Leisure Centre proposal on the Downham Road site.

“The consultation will allow the residents of East Cambridgeshire to have a say on where a new cinema could be developed. It is proposed that consultation will take place in June/July for a three-week period.”

The authority may hit a stumbling block with some of the proposed sites however, particularly in the case of the Paradise Centre, with the management team at the centre stating publically that they have a cast-iron lease in place on the site until 2085.

The meeting of the Development and Transport Committee takes place on June 12.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Does Ely need its own cinema complex? If so, where should it go? Contact the Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, CB7 4LS or email editor@ely-standard.co.uk.

Or you can tweet the editor: @johnelworthy

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